I have a bunch of mp3 music files, complete with metadata. Windows Explorer and Mp3Tag both show the title as being the actual name of the song. However, when I play the files in VLC, it shows the title as being the track number ("Track 1", "Track 2", etc.). Obviously, this behavior is undesirable because it makes it impossible to tell which song is playing.

If I edit the metadata through VLC to match the stuff Windows Explorer shows, or to be something different, Windows Explorer shows the edited metadata. How do I fix this?

  • What are the file names? Are they "Track 1.mp3" ...? Where are the "Track 1"... names coming from? Are there any playlist (.m3u) files involved?
    – Joe
    Oct 17, 2017 at 21:31
  • No playlits, and the file names are formatted as [volume number]-[track number]_[title].mp3. I have no idea where the track numbers are coming from
    – cat40
    Oct 17, 2017 at 21:31

4 Answers 4


VLC player: How to display file name on the title bar.

Menu Tools -> Preferences (Show settings = ALL) -> Input/Codecs? Then at the very bottom of the right panel set the option "Change title according to current media" to "$F" or "$u" (without quotes $f= file name and path ---- $u= file name only}). Save, exit and restart VLC.

  • 2
    I didn't need to restart VLC, just changed tracks (go to previous and back).
    – FirstOne
    Jan 31, 2018 at 12:11
  • Cannot find "Change title according to current media" option in mac.
    – Arman
    Aug 27, 2019 at 2:56

It turned out that the files had two sets of tags. One set, the one I wanted, was written as an ID3 tag. The other set, which VLC was displaying, was written as an APE tag. To fix this, I downloaded MP3tag and used it to remove the APE tags. Steps:

  1. Open all the problem files in MP3tag
  2. Go to tools -> Options -> Tags -> Mpeg and ensure that it is set to read and write only APE tags (this should leave your ID3 tags untouched. enter image description here
  3. Remove all the tag content (on the right sidebar, make sure none of the fields have text). If you have multiple files, you can select <blank> from the drop down menu.
  4. Save the files!

RIGHT click on the song, on the bottom click "Properties", than click "Details"... and that;s where you can type all the information that you want to see on the screen when the song plays!


fastest way. use MP3tag software to rename title of your files.

chose all files in your folder, and rightclick, there should Mp3tag listed in the windows context menu. you select that. context menu

then all files opened with Mp3tag software. select all files, then right click on title or any column and select 'customize columns'. customize columns

then select title under "value" filed enter variable for file name %_filename%

edit title value

and most important step. select 'Extend Tags' extend tags

remove title tag from this menu. remove title

click save on this dialogbox. again click save in MP3tag software main window. then exit MP3tag software. your changes saved.

Now go to your videos folder, and open then in VLC. viola, you can see title name as your file name and playlist shows exactly what you want to see.


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